MLA''s oppose officiating Speaker hearing disqualification plea

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Chandigarh, Feb 4 (PTI) Disqualification petitionsmoved by Haryana Janhit Congress-BL head Kuldeep Bishnoiagainst five MLAs who had defected to Congress, were todayheard by the officiating Speaker of the state Assembly, withthe legislators objecting to it saying only the Speaker hadthe authority to hear them.

Akram Khan, the officiating Speaker of Haryana VidhaSabha heard these petitions today with the counsel for theMLAs raising objection claiming that the hearing can only beheld before the office of the Speaker of the Assembly.

The five MLAs who had joined the ruling Congress onNovember 9, 2009 after the state Assembly polls were Sat PalSangwan, Zile Singh, Dharam Singh, Vinod Bhayana and NarenderSingh.

Sangwan and Narender Singh were recently madeMinisters in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.

At the outset of the hearing, counsel of the fivelegislators raised an objection that the proceedings under theAnti-defection Law can be held only before the Speaker.

Harmohinder Singh Chatha resigned from the post ofSpeaker recently after being made Minister in the Hoodacabinet.

The counsel said since the office of Speaker hadfallen vacant, therefore the Deputy Speaker has no power tocontinue with the proceedings and they should be adjourned toany date after the new Speaker was elected.

Strongly opposing this plea, Bishnoi''s counsel said asper the Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is bound to dischargethe Speaker''s functions in his/her absence.

He said this objection is being raised by the defectorMLAs only "with a view to delay the matter as much as they canon flimsy grounds".

The officiating Speaker, after hearing the argumentsof both the sides said that he shall inform them of hisdecision on this issue, shortly.

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